Working out at the gym is a great way to stay fit, but exercise equipment and other surfaces in these facilities can harbor bacteria and other germs. If you’re not careful, you can end up with a skin infection during or after your workout. Learn more about skin infections at the gym, including how you can protect yourself from them.
Skin Infections at the Gym
Skin infections can occur when you’re exposed to certain kinds of bacteria, fungi, or viruses. These germs can build up on surfaces and equipment in gyms, such as exercise equipment and locker rooms. When you touch a contaminated item or surface, bacteria, fungi, or viruses can enter your skin and cause an infection to occur.
Think about all of the people who use the gym each day. As these people touch weights, treadmills, and other pieces of exercise equipment, they can leave germs behind. They might also spread germs on multiple surfaces, such as locker room floors, shower stalls, and sinks. Coming into contact with these germs puts you at risk of getting skin infections.
Types of Skin Infections
What kinds of skin infections can you get at the gym? Several kinds of infections can occur, including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. The following are some of the more common types of skin infections that you can get at the gym.
These small, itchy, and red bumps occur when hair follicles become infected with fungi or bacteria.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes you to develop an itchy, raised rash with scaly patches.
Athlete’s foot can cause itching or burning and peeling skin between your toes and other areas of your feet.
Plantar warts are a viral skin infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). These warts appear on the soles of the feet. They are hard, grainy, or fleshy growths that can be painful.
How to Protect Yourself
Knowing how to keep yourself safe from skin infections can help you focus on enjoying your workouts instead of worrying about germs. When you go to the gym to exercise, keep the following prevention tips in mind.
Having shoes on can help prevent you from getting athlete’s foot, plantar warts, and other skin infections that can affect your feet. Bring flip flops or shower shoes to put on in showers and locker rooms. Wear your regular gym shoes, such as tennis shoes or sneakers, while working out.
Disinfect Gym Equipment
Avoid touching or using exercise equipment until you’ve disinfected it. Bring disinfectant wipes with you, and wipe down equipment, even if you haven’t seen anyone using it before you. Consider putting a towel on surfaces to avoid having your skin directly touch them, such as on stationary bicycle seats if you wear shorts. Disinfect equipment after using it to help reduce the spread of germs.
Wash After Exercising
Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer right after you work out. You should also take a shower to wash away germs, and put clean clothing on afterward. This helps cut down on the spread of germs while also lowering your risk of a skin infection.
Wear Loose Gym Clothes
Put on loose clothes that wick away moisture. This helps stop germs from growing and spreading while also keeping your skin dry.
Having open cuts or wounds gives germs an easy way to enter your skin and cause an infection. Keep cuts or wounds clean and covered while you work out at the gym.
Contact Us for Skin Infection Treatment in Fresno
If you need treatment for a skin infection, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Valley Skin Institute to request an appointment.